Objectives: Knowledge of possible drug-laboratory test interactions (DLTIs) is important for the interpretation of laboratory test results. Failure to recognize these interactions may lead to misinterpretation, a delayed or erroneous diagnosis, or unnecessary extra diagnostic tests or therapy, which may harm patients. The aim of this multicentre survey was to evaluate the clinical value of DLTI alerts.
Methods: A survey was designed with six predefined clinical cases selected from the clinical laboratory practice with a potential DLTI. Physicians from several departments, including internal medicine, cardiology, intensive care, surgery and geriatrics in six participating hospitals were recruited to fill in the survey. The survey addressed their knowledge of DLTIs, motivation to receive an alert and opinion on the potential influence on medical decision making.
Results: A total of 210 physicians completed the survey. Of these respondents 93% had a positive attitude towards receiving DLTI alerts; however, the reported value differed per case and per respondent’s background. In each clinical case, medical decision making was influenced as a consequence of the reported DLTI message (ranging from 3 to 45% of respondents per case).
Conclusions: In this multicentre survey, most physicians stated DLTI messages to be useful in laboratory test interpretation. Medical decision making was influenced by reporting DLTI alerts in each case. Alerts should be adjusted according to the needs and preferences of the receiving physicians.
- (computerized) clinical decision support
- Clinical laboratory test
- Diagnostic error
- Drug-laboratory test interaction
- Patient safety